Within the last decade, interest in community archives has increased in the field of archival studies. Calls to evaluate programs and services have caused scholars and archival professionals to seek new ways to understand how effectively a program or organization performs, to gather input for evidence-based decision-making, and to demonstrate an organization's impact on its community or stakeholders beyond traditional evaluative measures. This article is based on a two-year partnership study with the Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre (OJA) in Toronto, Ontario. In conjunction with OJA staff, the researchers sought to identify effective methodologies that shed light on OJA's impact. Informed by recent archival theories on impact and a critical understanding of OJA's organizational culture as well as the Ontario Jewish community's history, the authors argue that OJA's impact and value as articulated by members of the community must be contextualized within what Amir Lavie calls an “archival mentality”—in this case, one grounded in Canada's history of multiculturalism as a policy and as a national identity.

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